Ward Staffing

Patient safety is a key priority for Burton Hospitals. The National Quality Board (NQB), on behalf of the Care Quality Commission, Chief Inspector of Hospitals and Chief Nursing Officer of England issued guidance in November 2013 that made ten key recommendations to optimise nursing, midwifery and care staffing capacity and capability. This was further endorsed by NICE (National Institute of Clinical Excellence) guidance in July 2014 which recommended the Trusts review nursing levels on daily basis and the number of Registered Nurses employed twice a year. At Burton Hospitals we have welcomed this call to be open and transparent about our staffing levels and we are happy to publish information on a ward by ward basis about our staff rotas. We consider this a key element of delivering excellent healthcare services, and aim to achieve this by ensuring that we have the right people with the right skills in the right place at the right time.

Our aim is to make it easy for you to see at a glance how many staff we PLAN to have on duty on each ward every day – and how many staff are ACTUALLY working on those shifts. This information is now displayed on all of our in-patient wards. If this information isn’t readily or easily available, please speak to the Senior Sister of the ward who will be able to address this.

Information on each of our inpatient adult wards can be accessed here

This information for July 2017 includes:

  • Ward number, speciality and bed number of beds
  • Our funded Registered Nurse (RN) and Nursing Assistant (NA) numbers. This is the budgeted number of staff allocated to staff the ward over 24 hour period throughout the year, and is defined as a Whole Time Equivalent (WTE)
  • Our numbers of patients to Registered Nurses per day shift and numbers of patients to staff at night The percentage of shifts that have been covered with rostered staff. This is described as a percentage for both day and night shifts. Please do not be concerned when you see wards where shifts have not been covered to 100%. Where numbers of staff appear to be less than what they should be per shift, a decision is taken by the senior nursing team as to what actions are required to ensure the right numbers of staff are on the ward for the current number of patients. These actions may include moving staff from other areas, or making a decision that the ward is appropriately staffed if for example there are empty beds on the wards. In addition you will see wards where the fill rate for shifts is above 100%. This is in response to the dependency and care levels of patients increasing, and therefore the need to add additional staff to the ward team.
  • The numbers of staff on maternity leave, and therefore not currently working within the ward team
  • The numbers of complaints received per ward. These may cover any aspect of our patients stay
  • The numbers of serious incidents that have taken place per ward. The definition of serious incidents covers many areas of hospital treatment and care, but includes a formal investigation into any occurrence categorised as a serious incident. These investigations are shared with patients and their families
  • The numbers of patients who have fallen on the ward during their hospital stay
  • Safety thermometer data for each ward. This is a national prevalence audit of patient safety that takes place in all hospitals, and measures the incidence of harm to patients in a percentage of compliance
  • The numbers of Health Care Associated Infections that have occurred per ward

 On a daily basis we are collecting data on patient acuity and dependency (how ill they are and whether they need extra to support to complete basic daily tasks), twice a day, through a system called SafeCare. This system is based on a nationally recognised evidence based audit tool known as the Safer Nursing Care Tool (SNCT). This information is used to predict whether further investment into nursing numbers is required and to alert senior nursing staff to any staffing issues on the ward areas on a daily basis.

On behalf of the Trust Board, I hope you find this information useful. As leaders of the Trust, we consider all staff groups to be both valuable and essential to the delivery of patient care, and our work on nurse staffing levels is part of a wider programme that is considering all staff and professional groups. The results of our SafeCare analysis and information on nurse staffing levels is discussed in our open Trust Board meetings, details of which can be accessed here

Chief Nurse 

Trust Board Meetings

Link to Trust Unify Return


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